Life is complicated. We are born into an uncertain world, and then as the cliché goes, life happens. I hope before I can no longer communicate via the written word, I can share a few useful thoughts and observations. I wrote Fishing for Light as a satire because to write the story as pure literary fiction would be to painful for me. I learned a lot from Bobby’s Socks. I prefer to encourage the reader to laugh, rather than cry.
I’ll explain an underlying theme to watch for from within the story, it repeats itself several times. If you read the below excerpt from Fishing for Light, the scene starts on a Monday morning. Eddie was about to leave for work, but the sound of the rain outside his apartment took him back to a happy childhood memory. The memory was of his father, and mother, a typical, every day morning before his father would leave for work. In many ways, if you read it closely, it is a harbinger.
Since I’ve had my own personal traumas, and had close friends and family leave us without warning, I’ve watched what happens to those I love. And I know deep inside what if feels like to lose a close friend. I think once you lose that anchor in your life, that special mentor, and by the way, I think it can be a mother, father, whomever that helped to guide your life, but from that day forward you might feel a bit lost.
In my mind, even though Eddie had magic DNA thanks to Professor Quan and Captain Lovins, it did not really matter. He felt lost. I think motivation comes from hope and love. If you read past the intended absurdity, what Eddie lacked was a fatherly influence, and that gentle push to pick himself back up, and charge forward into life. I think that ability is the most valuable skill you can learn. If you look at it from a Biblical – New Testament view, the trick was that Jesus got up.
At the end of Fishing for Light, I had to figure out how to get Eddie what he needed – the skills to fight.
“Goofball,” Eddie said, “but he can sure peddle cars.” He sighed. He muted the one-way communication tube. He shut his eyes. He sat motionless for several minutes listening to the rain sizzle against his apartment building. It sounded like bacon frying in his mother’s cast iron skillet. When he was a little boy, the smoky, sugar cured fragrance was his alarm clock. He would spring out of bed, wide-awake, wearing his Superman Underoos; his red gossamer cape was his spinnaker sail as he scampered downstairs toward the kitchen.
“Why it’s a bird? No, no, now don’t tell me,” Adam said. He had black Elvis like hair, kind eyes and a velvety smooth southern accent.
“I’m not a bud,” Eddie said in child speak. His tiny fingers gripped into his father’s left thigh. He smiled up at his father’s still youthful face.
“Hey love, who can this, be?” Adam asked Sophia. Adam patted Eddie on the back, as he sipped his black coffee from a tall white mug.
“Dear me, I’m not sure,” Sophia said. She turned away from the double oven full of baking buttermilk biscuits. She wiped her hands off with a bright, sunflower printed apron.
“I’m super me,” Eddie said. He giggled and wiggled. He stood up on his red stocking tiptoes, arms stretched wide apart as if about to take flight to protect Nashville.
“Wonderful, but I think you mean, Superman,” Adam said. He chuckled. “Come sit a spell and eat your oatmeal, you need lots of energy to save the planet from the communists.”
“What’s a common-est?” Eddie asked as he crawled up onto his fathers lap.
“Never mind Superman, let me spoon you up some delicious oatmeal,” Adam said.
“I don’t white oat meal.” Eddie crinkled his face.
“Well, you better get used to it,” Adam said.
“Listen to your father,” Sophia said. She pointed her forefinger over at Adam. “Someone’s cholesterol was a bit high.”
“Yap, yap, yap-” Adam winked at Eddie, as he held him close.
Eddie giggled. He looked at his father. It was the one time of day that they would talk, and his father was not distracted with the afternoon newspaper. His father loved bacon, just a little crisp, eggs sunny side up with plain wheat toast. And it was Adam who had taught Eddie the secret to drinking coffee. His coffee not concealed with sugar, cream, or any of that frap-a-lap-a-whatever that might silently alter your body.
“Son, it’s like life, learn to drink it black, then you’ll never be disappointed,” Adam said. He hugged his son. “And always know, I love you-”
“Okay, pa,” Eddie said.